The Literary Salon

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympian thoughts

As most of my friends know, I don't (and can't) really care about the Olympics anymore. I find that I lost interest after the cold war, since back then there was a sense of East versus West. The one exception to this is Men's hockey during the winter olympics: I actually prefer olympic hockey to the NHL since it's cleaner and more graceful.

One thing about the Olympics that makes no sense to me, among other things, is the medal count. China and the USA are invariably the top two finishers, maybe alongside Russia, but this should come as no surprise since they are also the most populous, with 1 billion and 300 million people respectively. If China were to win a thousand medals, would that really be impressive? Not if you ask me.

I think the medal count should reflect populations: a medal count that was done per capita would be far more illuminating. So, if the US were to win 30 medals, that means they won one medal per ten million people. If Canada won 10, that would mean a medal per every three million, which sounds more impressive. Make sense?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about india huffington? they dont win medals

the argument makes little sense


3:52 p.m.  
Blogger RT said...

I'm in favour of not funding anything except hockey. Instead of putting a cent into elite fencing there are many things which deserve money: homelessness, literacy, heck even the arts.

Moreover, on your theme, for a country of 33 million to compete against a country of 300 million we'd have to put in more money per capita just to win a couple of medals. Also how damn insecure are we, so what if we don't win many medals?

I think we should be smart for our money fund hockey heavily. It is not like we don't have any problems - the world is catching us. The Swedes with less than a third of our population are competitive with us. That's because they make it easy for kids to play in the afternoons, i.e. 4pm after school gets out. We should focus on removing barriers to access to hockey.

9:02 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your issue is with funding.

You leave out the part of accountability in the government. You live in Canada, need I say more.

Millions are lost everywhere (including fighting wars that make no sense) and you have problems with spending money on dedicated athletes. These athletes are passionate! Who gives a shit about medals. You should be proud of the 300 athletes that Canada has sent.

People like you are the same people who would complain if Canada only sent hockey players to the Olympics. You would probably write something to the extent of “why does a country of 30 million people only send hockey players”

Think about what you write about.

Neil Larsson

3:27 a.m.  

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